Bravotv.com: What were you thinking when Padma said that you had to create a dessert?
When I knew that I had my one dessert to show and here was my chance to show it.
Bravotv.com: Why is making a dessert so difficult for chefs? (especially for past contestants)
Well, it doesn't have to be -- you just need to step out of the box and not just look at desserts as cakes and souffles. My dessert had no baking element to it and a forward-thinking chef will know his flavor profiles and create -- this is what we do. I think it goes back to technique; if you have a strong technique then you now have the foundation to be creative.
Bravotv.com: You were in Chef Iuzzini's top -- how did that feel?
I felt good to be in Chef Iuzzini's top, but I want to win. Not to sound cocky, but I had an idea Chef would like my dessert -- a little out-of-the-box, but my flavors were there.
Bravotv.com: Onto the elimination -- did you worry at all that Richard had immunity?
No -- I'm not worried about Rich's immunity. Pride's a bitch. I know Rich thinks the same -- that this is my food, my skill, what I've worked to get to and I'm not going to hack something out to sabotage somebody else. I'm here to represent and so is he.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for the dish?
I think I was really lucky to get what I got with the green perplexed tofu. I'm comfortable with cooking with tofu. I've really focused on Southeast Asian cuisine in the past and that is the direction I'm going with this.
Bravotv.com: Did you get to taste any of the other dishes? What did you think of them?
I'm really so focused on what I'm doing that I don't taste another person's dish.
Bravotv.com: How was the experience at Second City?
Second City was fun. It was the second time I've been and was appropriate -- that is really how I cook with a lot of improv.
Bravotv.com: How does it feel to win again?
Winning feels great. This is why I came -- to do work. It's a shame I don't cook at home -- my brother and parents are gonna get some nice pots and pans.